Rock python rescued from illegal trade.

In a recent sting operation to arrest illegal wildlife traders a rock python was discovered hidden in a drum in the backyard of some known bush meat poachers.  The very fortunate snake had no injuries and was relocated to the safety of the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary. Well done to Devin McDermot and the boys.

The rock python is Africa’s largest snake with a particularly aggressive reputation. Reaching lengths up to 7m and weights of 90kg they have a devastating power to constrict. Their incredible size means large prey can be tackled such as monkeys, warthogs, antelopes and even crocodiles.

A rock python is nonvenomous but still uses its curved teeth on unfortunate victims to anchor itself, before coiling around and suffocating, then swallowing it whole. Prey is located by odour using well-developed Jacobson’s organs and heat-sensing pits. Yet these formidable carnivores are themselves preyed upon by hyenas and wild dogs. Despite this ferocity there is a gentle side to the rock python: females coil around their eggs to protect them; hatchlings are up to 50cm long and independent

To find out more http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Python_sebae